Chittenden County, Vermont

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Not to be confused with Chittenden, Vermont.
Chittenden County, Vermont
Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington
Map of Vermont highlighting Chittenden County
Location in the U.S. state of Vermont
Map of the United States highlighting Vermont
Vermont's location in the U.S.
Founded October 22, 1787
Shire Town Burlington
Largest city Burlington
 • Total 619 sq mi (1,603 km2)
 • Land 537 sq mi (1,391 km2)
 • Water 83 sq mi (215 km2), 13%
 • (2015 Estimate) 161,382
 • Density 298.4/sq mi (115/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Chittenden County /ˈɪtəndən/ is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 156,545.[1] The county's population estimate for 2015 was 161,382. Its shire town (seat) is Vermont's most populous municipality, the city of Burlington. The county has over a quarter of the state's total population and more than twice the population when compared to Vermont's second most populous county of Rutland. The county also has more than twice the population density when compared to Vermont's second most dense county of Washington. The county is named for Vermont's first governor and one of the framers of its Constitution as a Republic and state, Thomas Chittenden.

The county has most of Vermont's fastest growing municipalities. It is one of the three counties that comprise the Burlington metropolitan area, along with the counties of Franklin and Grand Isle to the north and northwest, respectively. The University of Vermont (UVM), the state of Vermont's largest university, is located in the county, as well as its affiliated hospital, the UVM Medical Center (which is Vermont's largest hospital). The state's largest private employer (GlobalFoundries) and largest airport (Burlington International Airport) are located in the municipalities of Essex Junction and South Burlington, respectively. The Vermont National Guard is based in Colchester at Camp Johnson while their Air Guard is based at the Burlington International Airport. The county is contrasted with the much more rural character of the rest of the state.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 619 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 537 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 83 square miles (210 km2) (13%) is water.[2] It is the third-smallest county in Vermont by area.

Originally, Chittenden County contained parts of other counties. It included all of today's Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille counties, and parts of today's Orleans, Washington, and Addison counties.[3]

Western face of Mount Mansfield from Underhill, Vermont

The town of Underhill in Chitenden County is home to the highest summit within the state, Mount Mansfield, which has a peak elevation of 4,393 feet (1,339 m) above sea level.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 7,287
1800 12,778 75.4%
1810 18,120 41.8%
1820 16,955 −6.4%
1830 21,765 28.4%
1840 22,977 5.6%
1850 29,036 26.4%
1860 28,171 −3.0%
1870 36,480 29.5%
1880 32,792 −10.1%
1890 35,389 7.9%
1900 39,600 11.9%
1910 42,447 7.2%
1920 43,708 3.0%
1930 47,471 8.6%
1940 52,098 9.7%
1950 62,570 20.1%
1960 74,425 18.9%
1970 99,131 33.2%
1980 115,534 16.5%
1990 131,761 14.0%
2000 146,571 11.2%
2010 156,545 6.8%
Est. 2015 161,382 [4] 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790–1960[6] 1900–1990[7]
1990–2000[8] 2010–2014[1]

2014 U.S. Census Estimates

In 2014, there were 160,531 people, and 67,271 households. There were 67,271 households of which 36.23% had children under age 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.70% were non-families. 24.31% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.72% had someone living alone who was age 65 or older. Average household size was 2.67 and average family size was 3.13.

In 2014, the county was 91.7% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American and Alaska Native, 3.5% Asian, 0.01% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.1% Two or more races, and 2.8% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 2.2% of the population.

In the county, age distribution was as follows: 18.7% under the age of 18, 15.23% from 18 to 24, 32.05% from 25 to 44, 20.82% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.06 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.

In 2007, census department estimates that Chittenden had the youngest average age in the state, 37.5. This compares with the actual census in 2000 of 34.2 years.[9]

In 2008, about 29% of the population lives alone. 59% of households consist of families. 38% of men and 35% of women, age 15 or older, have never married. 6% of the population were born in a foreign country, 8% of residents speak a language other than English at home.

From 2000 to 2008, residents left Chittenden in high numbers for places outside Vermont. Still, population increased slightly, in part due to immigration from foreign countries.[10]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 156,545 people, 61,827 households, and 36,582 families residing in the county.[11] The population density was 291.7 inhabitants per square mile (112.6/km2). There were 65,722 housing units at an average density of 122.5 per square mile (47.3/km2).[12]

Of the 61,827 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.8% were non-families, and 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 36.2 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $59,878 and the median income for a family was $78,283. Males had a median income of $49,991 versus $39,213 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,095. About 6.6% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.[13]


As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function which is mostly consolidated at the state level. There is a County Sheriff and Chittenden County Sheriff's Department. The elected Sheriff is Democrat Kevin McLaughlin.[14] Remaining county government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."

In 2007, median property taxes in the county were $3,809, placing it 265 out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations over 20,000. It stood first in Vermont.[15]


The elected state's attorney is Democrat T.J. Donovan. In 2008, he said that "Alcohol is involved in most of our cases."[16]


Presidential election results[17]
Year Democratic Republican
2012 69.6% 53,626 28.0% 21,571
2008 71.4% 59,611 26.7% 22,237
2004 63.5% 49,369 34.0% 26,422
2000 54.4% 39,156 36.3% 26,105


Personal income[edit]

According to the US Census, the median household income for the years 2007 and 2011 was $62,260. The per capita income for the same period was $32,533. [18]

As of the 2010 US Census, the median income for a household in the county was $63,989, and the median income for a family was $59,460. Males had a median income of $38,541 versus $27,853 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,281. About 4.90% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.[19]


Burton Snowboards is headquartered in Burlington.

Essex Junction is home to GlobalFoundries' Burlington Design Center and 200 mm wafer fabrication plant. GlobalFoundries is the state's largest private employer, with approximately 3,000 employees.[20]

Burton Snowboards employs 500 people with a payroll of $28 million in 2008.[21]


The Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington

One measure of economic activity is retail sales. In 2007, Chittenden led the state with 29% of sales, as measured by sales tax reports. This amounted to US$1.52 billion.[22] Four local cities stood among the top five areas in the state: 1- Williston, 2-South Burlington, 4-Colchester, and 5-Burlington.

Real estate[edit]

In 2008, a vacancy rate for office space reached 11%, and was called "historic."[23]


There are several school districts within the county, including Burlington, Winooski and Chittenden East.[24] Teachers salaries in 2007–8 varied from lows of $33,000 to $38,000 annually. Top salaries ranged from $66,000 to $79,000. Teachers pay from 10–20% of their health premiums with many contracts at 12%.[25]

Higher education[edit]

The University of Vermont is Vermont's public flagship research university and is situated in Burlington.

Chittenden County is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, which are located in the city of Burlington. Saint Michael's College and a campus of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Vermont's first pharmacy school) are in the town of Colchester. A branch of the Community College of Vermont is located in Winooski and a satellite campus of Vermont Technical College is in Williston.

Personal health and safety[edit]

In the first national survey by Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin in 2010, Vermont ranked the highest in the country for health outcomes. The top county in Vermont was Chittenden.[26]


Consistent with the rest of New England and other counties in the state of Vermont, the county has little formal county government. There are a few agencies that serve county-wide. One is the Chittenden County Solid Waste District.

Solid waste[edit]

In 2008, the Solid Waste District announced that it would charge trash haulers $17/ton for recyclables. Formerly it was paying $7/ton. The global economy has reduced the demand for recycled materials.[27]


Interstate 89 crosses Chittenden County initially from east to west, then makes a northward turn in South Burlington to run north along the Lake Champlain shoreline. The full trajectory is generally from southeast to northwest. There are seven interchanges within the county. Four of the interchanges provide direct access to U.S. Route 2, which parallels the interstate throughout most of the county. U.S. Route 7, the county's main north-south surface route, is also directly accessible from two interchanges.

The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization measures traffic, analyzes road conditions, and allocates federal and state funds accordingly.[28]

Interstate 89 Exit 17 in Colchester (5 June 2015)


There is a private, amateur Champlain Valley Swim League with nine members, mostly from Chittenden.[29]





Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

In Vermont, gores and grants are unincorporated portions of a county which are not part of any town and have limited self-government (if any, as many are uninhabited).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived October 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (August 7, 2008). Census: State older, a little more diverse. Burlington Free Press. 
  10. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (July 2, 2009). CENSUS: Vermont grows slowly. Burlington Free Press. 
  11. ^ a b "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  12. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  13. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  14. ^ "Chittenden County Sheriff's Office". 
  15. ^ McLean, Dan (December 17, 2008). Property tax bills among highest. Burlington Free Press. 
  16. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (December 7, 2008). Mixed drinks, mixed feelings. Burlington Free Press. 
  17. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  18. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ [2] by Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  21. ^ Carpenter, Jake Burton (November 30, 2008). Letter to the Editor (My Turn): Protests do no credit to Vermont. Burlington Free Press. 
  22. ^ McLean, Dan (July 13, 2008). Retail Sales By The Numbers. Burlington Free Press. 
  23. ^ McLean, Don (December 11, 2008). Vacant office space hits record high. Burlington Free Press. 
  24. ^ Richmond, Huntingdon, Undeerhill, Bolton and Jericho
  25. ^ Walsh, Molly (August 24, 2008). Teachers unions working on contracts. Burlington Free Press. 
  26. ^ "County Health Rankings: National Comparisons". Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin. 2010. 
  27. ^ Burlington Free Press, Waste district raises recycling fees, Page, Candace, November 12, 2008
  28. ^ Shamy, Ed (16 August 2007). "Watch backside when entering this intersection". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1B. 
  29. ^ Wells, Alison (26 July 2009). "Tight duel in the pool". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1C. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°27′N 73°05′W / 44.45°N 73.09°W / 44.45; -73.09